The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) provides for $230 million in funding for frontline homelessness services across Australia, shared evenly by federal and state/territory governments.
Late last year, the Federal Government provided a limited extension to the NPAH and called it 'transitional' with services now being funded up until 30 June 2018. This is a good first step towards the long-term certainty we need to start reducing homelessness in Australia - but it is only a first step.
There are many factors driving more and more members of our community into housing crisis and homelessness every day. These range from unaffordable rents and a lack of public housing to family violence, unemployment and health crises. Without a strong homelessness support system we cannot prevent people becoming homeless nor can we successfully support people to put homelessness behind them and move on with their lives.
These services keep people safe, off the streets and alive. They work across the spectrum of need, including supporting women and children to overcome family violence and sexual assault, preventing homelessness for young people leaving the child protection system, and re-establishing housing for people with extreme health problems and long histories of sleeping rough.
Despite this short extension to national funding, Australia still lacks two important things. The first is this long-term funding certainty so services can get on with the important work of preventing and ending homelessness for individuals and families. The second is an evidence-based national strategy that connects both affordable housing and support services.
This is why we are calling on the Federal Government to sit down with the states/territories, service providers, policy experts and people who have experienced homelessness and begin developing a new national affordable housing and homelessness strategy. We need a plan and we need one before the next election. Without this national coordination we will not turn around increasing homelessness.
We need your help to win this campaign. Please sign up above and send a message to the Federal Government that Australia needs a national affordable housing and homelessness strategy as an urgent priority. Thanks for your support!
Chairperson, Homelessness Australia
Executive Officer, National Shelter
Contact us at supporters@SaveNPAH.org for more information.